Race-Lift: When Hollywood Changes A Character's Race (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

In order to accommodate the least-deserving movie star of all time, makers of the upcoming "R.I.P.D." have changed the name (and implied ethnicity) of Ryan Reynolds's character, from Nick Cruz -- as it is in the corresponding comic book and graphic novel -- to Nick Walker. The technical term for this little operation is "race-lifting," and it happens all the time. Sometimes it's repellent, like when "Spawn" director Todd McFarlane caved into studio concerns and turned a key black character white, and sometimes it's simply silly to hang on to a character's original ethnicity at the expense of an actor or actress who truly fits the part. At all times though, something is lost, the idea of a person who's enthralled us somehow.

In recognition of these lost souls -- the Nick Cruzes who will never be -- we've compiled some of the strangest race-lifts of the past few decades. Indian, Chinese, Nubian, Irish -- plenty of fictional identities have been lost at the altar of a movie's need to get made. Click on, won't you, and pay your respects.